Saturday, September 23, 2023
Saturday, September 23, 2023


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6 ways to improve the social commerce journey for Next Gen: A Havas Media Network x Snapchat study

There is a clear opportunity for brands to improve the Social Commerce Journey for Next Gen. Whether it’s about cleaner aesthetics, an intelligence system to help them sort through the plethora of content and choices, access to real reviews from real people, an easier check-out process, or a guarantee that they won’t be scammed or have delivery issues, the desire to have a more seamless journey across the shopping experience is apparent.

Next Gen told us what they want, and while a few requests might be more future forward, as social commerce is quickly becoming more mainstream, it is in the best interest of businesses to have a long view of how to engage with young shoppers. Across the findings of this study by Havas Media Network, 6 overarching principles emerged as must-haves to create meaningful social commerce experiences for Next Gen.


Next Gen are adept users of technological-based experiences and are willing to try different solutions that will ultimately simplify their lives and humanize their shopping experience. Learning and adapting to this new reality makes all the difference. Whether its pre- or post- purchase assistance via AI and chatbots, notifications of relevant discounts, or being able to save preferences for quick reference and access later, personalization is highly sought after. It not only adds enjoyment and reward, it also delivers on ease in a big way.

81% of Next Gen utilize the AI/chatbot feature, as it provides a ‘shopping buddy’ feel they like. Whether the feeling of being guided through the buying process, the ability to talk to someone about products and suggestions on what to buy, the support given after purchase – excellent customer experience and incorporating that ‘human touch’ into their experience matters!

Checklist for Brands

  • Bespoke Suggestions: Products and ads based on pre-entered preferences, past purchases, and/or assistance
  • Save-for-Later: Here and prepurchase, some sort of virtual cart/ area to save searches in an organized way for reference is vital
  • Automatic Notifications of Relevant Discounts for Rewards: Especially for US audiences, automatic suggestion of codes is a dream
  • Interface with Loyalty Programs: Easy access and reminder to loyalty benefits at purchase
  • Direct Superior AI / Chatbot Assistance: To address any issues or to act as a ‘shopping buddy’ to ease the experience, an effective channel to engage



Authenticity is a buzzword in recent years and continues to be the expected red thread through all commerce experiences, and rightfully so! Trusted friends and family provide clear added value to the shopping experience. Creating brand advocates can go a long way as friends and family are one of the most powerful marketing tools to expand a customer base.

Careful consideration of authentic micro-influencers hit the mark with Next Gen – as micro influencers are typically more passionate, more relatable, and therefore more credible, engaging connection. Next Gen carefully choose who they interact with based on transparency, authenticity, and shared values.

As brands and platforms build their Social Commerce journey, the power of authenticity must be top of mind.

Checklist for Brands

  • Real Reviews: Influencers are interesting (especially for Personal Care and Luxury), but seeing ‘people like me’ give feedback is best
  • Feedback from Others: Easy way to ask family and friends for their thoughts and advice


There is an increased expectation for more blended experiences among Next Gen as they discover limitless ‘next- level’ possibilities. They are keen to leverage technology in their shopping experiences, allowing them to transition seamlessly and simply between their virtual and real worlds.

Augmented reality (AR) offers a layer of delight to the shopping experience. With virtual ‘try-ons’, product exploration and demos, personalized recommendations and instruction guides and more interactive brand engagement, AR also brings a utility that’s very attractive to Next Gen. AR has changed the online shopping landscape by better ensuring they will like the items they buy and that they are legit!

84% of Next Gen agree this feature is necessary to make social commerce more ideal and leads to 94% higher purchase conversation rate, as individuals can better assess and feel connected with brands*. Leveraging technology to create more ‘real-life’ shopping moments during the digital shopping trip is a key element to better engage this generation.

Checklist for Brands

  • Augmented Reality: Whether a dress on a body or sunglasses on a face, seeing the product in use and getting the ‘real feel’ helps


Trust is the watchword for purchase. There is an ongoing trust gap from years of skepticism around misinformation/ disinformation, data privacy, and the lack of cyber security. In fact, less than half of brands are seen as trustworthy*. This stretches into the realm of online shopping, and overall consumer skepticism is the number one barrier to purchase through social media. Consumers have been victim to scams, cyber-attacks, phishing, and especially hacking on social media. This has made shoppers think twice before entering any personal data, such as their credit card, to make a purchase.

Building trust and credibility is essential across the shopping journey for consumers to even consider making a purchase. The most important factors stated by Next Gen when purchasing on or from Social Media were (a) Having a credible and trustworthy platform’ and (b) The product being shown feeling legitimate.

It is essential to provide a secure platform for users and to deliver clear & relevant information. In addition, doubling down on connections to real people for opinions, reviews or to demonstrate the legitimacy of the product/service builds confidence, and offering familiar outlets for payment or cross-checking verification can lead to more purchases.

Checklist for Brands

  • Real Reviews: Influencers are interesting (especially for Personal Care and Luxury), but seeing ‘people like me’ give feedback is best
  • Product in Use: Whether a dress on a body or sunglasses on a face, getting the ‘real feel’ helps
  • Ethical Credentials: More a nice-to-have, knowing it’s not just wanton commercialism assuages guilt, particularly for Gen Z
  • Clarity on Delivery: Often there’s an express need – knowing arrival or giving local options helps ease purchase the decision
  • Clarity on Return Process: This needs to be clear at the purchase stage to help ease the purchase decision


Enjoyment is the lure to engage more often, and social platforms offer fun and stimulating shopping touchpoints which enhances the visceral sense of enjoyment. Next Gen seek multi-sensory experiences, and they expect the content they interact with to inspire and entertain. 88% of Next Gen agree that having an aesthetically pleasing and clean interface is necessary to make a social commerce experience more ideal – optics do matter!

‘Experiential’ takes on a new meaning. There’s a growing desire for more holistically-engaging shopping experiences, inclusive of trusted brands and influencers, friends and family. Live shopping exemplifies this, becoming popular for discovering new products as well as the convenience it provides. Almost 60% of Next Gen consumers have attended a virtual shopping event on a social media platform and over half have purchased a product during a live shopping event. It is essential for brands to explore how they can lean into this growing space of ‘live-shoptainment’ to elevate Next Gen shopping experiences.

Checklist for Brands

  • Visually Led Display: Being drawn in by the eye; a rich and clean experience
  • Product in Use: Whether a dress on a body or sunglasses on a face, getting the ‘real feel’ counts
  • Augmented Reality: Incorporating unexpected elements can delight in unexpected ways


Time is money, and what saves more time than convenience? Easy and seamless interactions are at the forefront of the consumers’ wish list. We have seen this trend continue to grow in relevance over the last few years across all commerce.

When it comes to shopping on a favorite social app – integration is a must rather than a nice-to-have. 93% of Next Gen state they would like the ability to easily compare products and prices. 79% want the ability to save their payment details, like a digital wallet, to avoid manually entering their credit card details each time: especially true in Germany and India, 61%, 69% respectively. 87% would like integrated payment details – such as Apple Pay. 95% agree that offering easy trackable delivery is essential for satisfaction. They also prefer seamless purchases directly on social media versus being redirected to a third-party site – this is especially true of the younger Gen Z (13-17 years old) with 69% agreeing. And they will only provide a review if that too is a quick and easy process!

Next Gen welcome anything that eases their path to purchase. Offering a seamless experience can build consumer confidence across the journey, increase repeat sales, and build brand advocates.

Checklist for Brands

  • Integrated Actions: Ability to quickly launch into next phases seamlessly – no side searches
  • Save-for-Later: Especially important at the discovery and purchase stage, a virtual cart/area is vital
  • Easy Follow-Up: Avenues for extra questions to previous buyers or the brand
  • Easy Comparisons: Visual carousels with clear prices/ features plus ‘similar product’ ideas
  • Integrated Link-Outs: Quick taps to check on seller credentials, final reviews and delivery options
  • Integrated Payment Options: Not re-entering details adds ease
  • Interface with Loyalty Programs: Allowing plugins/brand schemes from browsers to interact with social would be very welcome
  • Simple Reviews: Not many Next Gen leave long, complex reviews: don’t impose a template
  • Easy-Tracked Delivery: Knowing when the product arrives is vital: clear visibility is needed
  • Clear Return Process: Awareness of recourse in case of dissatisfaction generates confidence
  • AI for Assistance: As part of addressing any issues, an effective channel to engage


The social commerce space is ripe with opportunities for brands to elevate the digital shopping journey for Next Gen. But while multidimensional shopping experiences are welcomed by Next Gen, their expectations are high. They expect more meaningful and seamless experiences, and they are very clear on areas of opportunities for brands in the social commerce space.

Brands must address “my personal needs” and instill trust through both real people and secure platforms, and it must offer both convenience as well as peppering in fun elements Next Gen can share with friends.

As social commerce will continue to see exponential growth in the coming years, it is crucial for brands to not only get involved, but to also ensure the six principles outlined in this playbook are considered across all social commerce executions. This will not only create ideal social commerce experiences for Next Gen, it will also keep them coming back for more!

The Global New Gen Social Commerce project aims to better understand why, when, and how to engage with Gen Z and Millennials in the growing space of Social Commerce around multiple markets and product verticals.

As part of a multi-stage project, the findings from this study are from a combination of a quantitative study to give a better understanding of the social commerce landscape and uncover consumers’ behaviors and motivations as well as expectations from Social Commerce experiences.

Target Audience: 13–35 yr* who use social media to browse or purchase through or via Social Media platforms.
Verticals: Luxury/High-End/Designer (Apparel, Accessories, Beauty & Fragrance) Apparel & Accessories. PersonalCare (Skincare/Haircare/Makeup/Toiletries/Vitamins/Medicine).
Markets: France, Germany, India, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States.

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